Bunch of pansies

The people on this side of the state are a bunch of pansies.

(I just lost all my Philly readers, right?  Crap. Come back guys, this will get better, I promise.)

I grew up in Pittsburgh.  It snowed there.  A lot.  As a kid, you’d think that would have rocked.

It did.

On the weekends.

The downside to living in a part of the country that gets a lot of snow is that they are USED to getting a lot of snow so you never get to take advantage of the snow with snow days.  Well…people are mostly used to it.

This is kind of how Pittsburgh rolls in the winter.

Usually there will be some snow in October and when that snow comes, PennDOT will roll out the salt trucks en masse.  They salt the heck out of these roads.  And then the snow comes.  And it turns out not to be the blizzard everyone was bracing for, but merely a few flurries.  So now the roads are coated with a quarter of an inch of salt and there is no actual accumulation on the roads.  Score.

And then it snows a few more times in November and again in December and then in early January reports start coming in about a big storm that is on its way.  And PennDOT gets ready to roll out the salt trucks, only to find that OMG THERE IS A SALT SHORTAGE! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE THERE IS NO SALT TO SALT THE ROADS WITH!  And then it’s breaking news for the next 2 or 3 nights and residents roll their eyes and go “well DUH there’s no salt, you doused the roads for that hour of flurries we got back in November.”

But somehow we survive the winter. And the kids all make it to school on time.

Which isn’t always a good thing.

The thing about being prepared for the snow is that sometimes the school districts were over-confident about the buses abilities to handle the snow (or the meteorologists weren’t fully accurate in actually predicting the amount of snow we’d get.  You’re shocked to hear me say that after what I said about Phil yesterday, aren’t you?).  The problem with this over-confidence is that sometimes the kids get sent to school anyway.

This happened to me in elementary school actually.  It was snowing all morning but we still went to school.  And really, someone should have caught on to the amount of snow we were getting b/c the elementary school started a full hour and a half after the high school.  But after we all got there, they decided to cancel school.  The middle schoolers took the bus home and that’s where the first sign of trouble was.  My neighborhood is a loop.  A loop on an axis.  That means that to get out my neighborhood I have to go uphill.  Whichever way I leave the house, it’s an uphill climb.  So when the bus dropped off my brother and our neighbor B, the bus got stuck.  And then B tried to shovel it out while my brother went inside to play Nintendo and my mom bundled up to come get me.

You see, after seeing Harry (he was the ex-Marine/corrections officer bus driver that they assigned to the middle school bus because apparently none of the boys could play nice) get stuck in the neighborhood, Mama B and B’s mama (that didn’t confuse you, did it?) decided that no way would they subject their youngest to riding the bus.  So they walked to school to pick up me and K.  And let me tell you, for a shrimpy little elementary school student, that was a long walk with all that snow.  I distinctly remember suggesting that it would probably be fine if I rode B and K’s golden retriever Hamish (who tagged along for the walk to school) home.  That suggestion was most definitely shot down.

And that wasn’t the only time they underestimated the weather.  It happened again when I was in high school.  They decided to call a 2-hour delay at 7:00.  Which was great considering that school started at 7:30 and any decent parking spaces were taken by 7:15 and most buses picked kids up at 6:35.  So we got to school and we sat around the cafeteria for 2 hours.  And then, just when they were getting close to the end of the 2-hour delay period, we found out that they decided to cancel school.  Those of us who had spent the previous 2 hours sitting around the cafeteria suggested that we should be allowed to come in 2 hours late some day since we were prompt enough to beat the school board and their tardy delay call.  That suggestion was most definitely shot down.

With snow in the forecast for remainder of this week and the weekend, I was appalled to sit in bed last night and listen to the 11 o’clock news announce which schools were delayed and which were canceled.  It hadn’t even started snowing yet and these school districts were calling it quits.  What a bunch of pansies!  Because do you know what I saw when I woke up this morning?  I saw about a quarter of an inch of snow.  On the grass and on the trees and on the cars but NOT on the roads.  Nope, the roads were free and clear.  Well, okay, yes, they were wet but what does wet have to do with anything?  That’d be like canceling school for rain.



9 thoughts on “Bunch of pansies

  1. i feel your pain. same in CT. we got 10x as much snow as VA but somehow they have 10x as many snow days in their calendar. it still drives me nuts that the cancellations start scrolling on the screen when the forecast for snow comes out… the cancel church. cancel. church. it’s unheard of.

    and i’m lucky we never had a big dog growing up, i was obsessed with trying to ride all the big dogs in the neighborhood too… i never understood why it wouldn’t work.

  2. Hey hey hey, it’s not the WHOLE side of the state. In Scranton, school was never closed for weather. Or nearly never. I’d be walking the one mile to high school in snow up to my knees, my jeans frozen by the time I arrived. So maybe it’s just the southeast part of PA.

    And if you think it’s weird there, try here. We had a snowstorm Friday night and Saturday morning, amassing maybe six inches. School was closed Monday and Tuesday in the town I live in, and the county district closed yesterday, too. NUTS! The roads were just wet Tuesday and Wednesday… Ha.

  3. In Central PA the trucks would plow the inch of cynders laid until the snow came then plowed that for a while. We still had school most of the time.

    Also NSJ after living in CT, since most of them can’t drive in dry weather it amazed me that anyone was allowed on the roads when it snowed at all!! :-p

  4. well, brace yourself, they are even talking here in southwestern PA about the monster storm you are in for this weekend…and for the record, I grew up in upstate NY, always walked to school, because there were no buses for our district, and in the pre-global warming era, we got a lot of snow…and snow days, we needed over a foot for them to even consider it….

  5. Good God! You know, Central Scotland goes to BITS when it snows. But I only remembering a school I went to closing due to snow twice in my entire school career. TWICE in 13 years!

  6. They once underestimated the snow when I was in elementary school (because it rarely snows here) and we were stuck in the school gym til our parents could come get us. My brother and I were there until 8pm. And you’re right – now they cancel school at the mere thought of snow. It’s so unfair!

  7. NSJ: See, I figure if Boo and I get a Saint Bernard we could get rid of one of the cars haha!

    MinD: Fair point, I didn’t mean to exclude Scranton. Also…I could see NC not being able to function when it snows!

    Boo: Sorry Boo! School still? That’s weak! You are surrounded by mountains and stuff!

    M.O.L: Over a foot?! Man, if that were still the case, we’d NEVER have had a day off.

    Paula: Oh gross!! Only TWICE in 13 years? Yuck!

    Meg: Aww, that sucks! But yeah, it is totally unfair. Makes me want to teach just so I can get the snow days I *didn’t* get as a kid!

    Heather: Oh they do that up north too. I was traumatized after going to the grocery store today–it was INSANE!

  8. I’m a little late in commenting, but the entire time I read I was just nodding my head like you reading my brain. I live in Erie so definitely know about NEVER cancelling school. The only time I remember them doing it in high school we hadn’t even gotten much snow; we had 1/4″ of ice on EVERYTHING and they couldn’t get the school doors open. But snow? Pffft, you can get through it.

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